Crazy week around here. From moving the Kevins into their new, almost finished coop to many playdates with friends and too much sun and not enough time. I feel like a chicken with her head cut off, and since witnessing the phenom of headless, running chickens last winter, I can use that idiom with a fair degree of certainty that it’s what I look like. Now Lucy has a fever of 104 and Tess cut her hair short on one side and the garbage disposal has a leak in it, so I had to put an old 9×13 under it to catch the water which smells like someone getting a perm in a brothal in the back alleys of Calcutta. And while a sick kid doesn’t fit into my plans to start painting the barn this weekend, I think I have to chalk this one up to Jesus. He knew I needed to slow down. Why I have to slow down this suddenly, is a mystery, but I think I’ll just try to see this bump in the road as a gift. What better way to pass the day than with a sick, hot baby in your arms and your eyes closed, running through your prayer list that’s been neglected and maybe, just maybe, catching your breath? And now Tess tells me the sea (bathtub) in fake Mexico (master bathroom) is overflowing which sounds like a natural disaster I should attend to fairly quickly and since I hear Junebug mewling, I have just enough time to call in the coast guard before I get back to the day God has set before me. And soon the boys will come home and Dan will come home and then it will feel like all is right in my world and if I’m lucky, I’ll have taken this opportunity to rest and I’ll be ready for the next curveballs that’ll be thrown. Perhaps I’ll even have a little time to write. You know. About me. Being real.
I tried unsuccessfully to upload some video I shot of the Kevins as we found them this afternoon upon returning from the zoo. Words can’t really do it justice. We’d recognized for a couple days that they were quickly outgrowing their brooding box and needed to move to the garage to a larger one, however, today clinched the deal. We opened our door to find ten Kevins running around the back hall (which was mercifully shut off from the rest of the house), with crap all over the place. All over. Three Kevins were missing but were eventually located in and behind the recycling bin. And although Chickens: The Essential Poultry Publication swayed me into thinking escape was unlikely, it indeed is. So, an hour later, after having to scrape chick poo off the floor with my cooktop scraper and then scrub the floor with a scour pad and lysol, we have the cleanest, chick free back hall. And the Kevins? They’re out in the garage in time out, taking some time to think about what they did. We’re having chicken nuggets for dinner tomorrow. Little ones.
We celebrated Easter at church tonight and, while a Saturday evening Easter Sunday is unusual, it was nice. Really nice. And I’ve just received my replacement copy of The Vision and the Vow by Pete Greig from Amazon (and to continue the shameless plug, you can order it from Amazon below) which is a book you really need to get your hands on because it is truth and it is transformational. In it he quotes Habakkuk, which says:
“Write this. Write what you see..
Write it out in big block letters so that it can be read on the run.
This vision-message is a witness pointing to what’s coming.
It aches for the coming-it can hardly wait!
And it doesn’t lie.
If it seems slow in coming, wait.
It’s on its way.
It will come on time.
Look at that man, bloated by self-importance-full of himself but soul-empty.
But the person standing before God through loyal and steading believing
is fully alive, really alive.”
Habakkuk 2:2-4 (msg)
And I’ve been convicted that the rest of my life needs to be a billboard for Jesus in which he’s written out in big block letters that are so big they can be read on the run by all the millions of people who are running…from addiction, from shame, from death, from, from… And in order to do this I need to stop running myself from all the sins that are right on my heels. Because the vision is Jesus on the cross, suffering for me. Dying for me. Even though I don’t deserve it even sort of. And I can never be worthy of that, but I can write and talk and I can wait with all of creation who groan in anticipation of his coming again and so do I. The only way to speed it up is to be a part of the message, telling people that this story is so good. So good. Even though it has scary parts and ugly acts and lots of people who die or are punished, even though there is a bad guy who fights really hard, even though the climax sees Jesus nailed to a tree.
Our lesson tonight at church began with these words, “The message of Easter is that Jesus wins.”
That’s the message that needs to be written in big block letters in this place where there is so much darkness that it’s easy to forget that Jesus wins. Jesus wins.
Only a Nana can get away with bringing over those horrible bakery cupcakes with the little forky decoration things stuck in them and that have about 97 grams of sugar per ounce and lots of dyes. And a Nana can do this quite nicely if she is celebrating the sun with her grandbabies, all 13 of them, who are covered in frosting and mud from the creek and chick feathers and all sorts of other wonderful summer like things. Nanas are totally entitled.
The only caveat is that I get to lick the frosting off the baby’s face.
No, seriously. I do. It’s a mama’s prerogative. It’s in the bylaws.
Hold still. Mama’s gonna get her some sugar.
You need me to suck it off your fat fingers too? O.K. I’m in.
Nope, you don’t get to do it yourself. Nice try.
Tomorrow I’m rolling her in chocolate, then going at her with a jar of peanut butter and a spatula.
I’ve just received an email from my sister in Norway who I posted about a couple days ago. She is not pregnant. Can I ask you for prayers again for her and her husband as they are heart broken and must now lay to rest their dream of having biological children? I was just searching Psalms for understanding and came across this in Psalm 30 that is what I’m going to be praying for her. Will you join me, please?
To you, O Lord, she called;
to the Lord she cried for mercy:
What gain is there in her destruction,
in her going down to the pit?
Will the dust praise you?
Will it proclaim your faithfulness?
Hear O Lord, and be merciful to her;
O Lord, be her help.
(Would you please) turn her wailing into dancing;
(would you) remove her sackcloth and clothe her with joy,
that her heart may sing to you and not be silent.
O Lord her God, she will give you thanks forever.
I have a friend (you know who you are) who cried out to the Lord for a baby and He literally delivered one to her doorstep. It’s what I’m praying for Veti and Ole-Kristian. That God would miraculously deliver a baby to their doorstep. Or find some other way to grow them a family. And we will. WILL. Give Him thanks forever.
Lovely is the best word to describe my day. Spending time with a new old friend (you know who you are) who is as comfortable as a much loved quilt on a cold day and whose book reviews are always spot on. Toss in the fact that she’s ok with Kraft mac n’ cheese and didn’t even flinch when I mentioned tossing in some Smokey Links and it’s a match made in heaven. In this quest to be real, it’s good to be around people with whom I’m comfortable being just so.
The Kevins are growing like weeds. And smelling like dirty socks, but they’re still cute so it’s ok. We purchased thirteen planning on the kids loving a couple to death before too long, but the kids have proven to be savvy chick wranglers and the Kevins seem to be amazingly resilient. The Kevins and I are an odd couple, them so dirty and me so put off by dirt. And animals. And anything whose leg skin resembles a snake’s. Dan declares we have the cleanest chicken brooder in any developed country and I just keep chasing kids around the house with hand sanitizer. Every time I run the vacuum they crap all over the place, but I figure I’m just desensitizing them for the noise level of this family.
Peter asked me really sweetly to go hunt snakes with him this afternoon and I said with alarmingly little shame, “No. Thanks, buddy, but no. Not a chance. I will probably never want to hunt snakes. I hate them. I know we don’t say hate, but I do. Hate them. I’m sorry.” And with that run-on sentence, I officially lost my bid for mother of the year. Oh well. At least I don’t have to hunt snakes. It’s still been a lovely day.
Oh, and my confession is that I’ve checked my blog far too many times since posting on Saturday. Seriously far too many times. And I had to pray about it this morning and God had to remind me that it’s not about me. It’s not about people leaving comments that make me feel good about myself or that sing accolades to my writing style or savvy use of grammar. It’s about Jesus and being ok with not being perfect but just trying to be best jar of clay I can be, cracks and all. And getting all my good feelings from Jesus. Counting on Him to tell me how great I am. And how selfish. And how distracted. And so and so. So, this is me. Being real.
So I’m cleaning the toilets just now and I get this strong impression that I’m supposed to drop the brush and go write, but Lucy is sleeping and the window of opportunity is so small, so I don’t right away. And the impression gets stronger and then I ask God what He wants me to write about. If it’s the one about crap that’s been cleverly mulling around in my mind for the last few days, you know because I’m cleaning the toilets and He’s like, “Forget the toilets, OK? Just go.” And then I remember that I’ve committed to being real and so I’m going to do that.
Peter is in Little Leagues. He’s at practice with the Man and Grant right now. He was in tears before he left because he thinks he’s the worst one on the team and so he didn’t want to go. And I forced him to because he’d made the commitment to do it and I think it’s important to follow through, but he left with tears. Peter, I think, has some performance anxiety issues. He hates being the center of attention unless he’s great at what he’s doing. And since I have anxiety issues, I think my genetics ordered that for him. And I ache. Grant has a hard time separating and now, Peter, and I think it’s all my fault and I ache. But then I remember years ago when I was discovering that I have an anxiety disorder and how it felt like the safest place in the world was with my mom because she’d struggled with depression and she gets it. I remember being a limp pile of brokenness in her kitchen. She was standing at the stove stirring something and she turned to me and said, “I’m afraid I did this to you.” I don’t think I’ve ever loved her more and I think how much harder this road would have been if I’d been alone, without people who get it, like my mom and the Man, who is amazing, and friends who pray. And I’m so thankful. See, my genetics may have ordered some nasty things for my kids, but it’s ordered some pretty great things too. And God has spent the last ten years making me gradually more ok with having an anxiety disorder maybe so that I can be that one really safe earthly place for my kids when/if they realize they struggle too. And I pray they don’t. I beg God to spare them that, but if He choses to meet them there, that way, then I praise Him too. Because I met God in the bathtub when I was really really sick and felt like I was going out of my mind and it was so good. So good.
That rotten Satan just preys on our weaknesses, real and perceived and today I think he’s quite satisfied that he managed to worry me for a bit. But I’m claiming this one for Christ, the author and perfecter of my faith. Game on.
funny post tomorrow. i promise.
My sister and brother in law in Norway have just completed their third and final round of In Vitro Fertilization. Would you join me in praying for the teeny baby who has been implanted? For you mothers, you know nothing in this world rivals holding your baby in your arms and understanding for real what it means to love and be loved completely. I yearn for her to have that. I find myself breathing out, “please” a thousand times a day as I look at my own kids. Our family is begging God to bless them with a baby and she has consented to let me ask you to do so also. Thank you.
Oh, in case you like to pray for people by name as I do, she is Veti and he is Ole-Kristian, but we call him O.K. and you can too.